Last year I wrote about my Teammate Kyle’s participation in a TKO Graphix food drive, Kyle’s Challenge.  The collection of canned goods and nonperishable food items benefited a local pantry. When Kyle heard about the pantry and what TKO was doing, he donated his birthday to the food drive. It was his 35th birthday, and his parents had planned a party, but Kyle told them he wanted no cake or presents. Kyle wanted gifts of food for the drive instead. He received more than 100 “presents” of foodstuffs. I was moved by what he had done, and wondered if more of us followed Kyle’s lead what we could accomplish. Have you considered donating your birthday?

How to Donate Your Birthday 

Choose a Charity

Do more than pick a charity you’re familiar with, choose one you’re passionate about. It could be a charity you already support with gifts, donations, or by volunteering. A good friend who is a military veteran donates his birthday every year to causes helping disabled veterans.

My wife and I give each other Christmas gifts in the form of donations to our favorite not-for-profits. What are your favorite causes?

It also may be a good idea to vet any charity before donating your birthday to it. Here’s an excellent place to start, Charity Navigator.

Issue a Challenge

Set a goal, for example, Kyle had a goal of 100 containers of food. He not only reached it but beat his goal, and part of the reason is that he challenged his friends and family. Set a realistic goal, but one that stretches you, and then share it with your followers.

Share Your Goal

Kyle’s goal was shared in person, face-to-face, and on the phone by Kyle and his parents. That’s were his followers were, and it was the best way to reach them. Wherever your followers are is where you want to promote your call to action. Like Kyle, it could be best to reach out personally to your friends or it could be best to post your call to action on Facebook, or other social media networks.

Creating a fundraising event on Facebook is simple. If you click the scroll down arrow at the top right on your news feed, you’ll find “Create Fundraiser” from there Facebook walks you through the process.

Once you’ve established a goal, it’s essential to track and post progress towards your target.

Tell a Story

My friend who served active duty has stories. He and his wife who also served don’t talk about it a lot, but when they do people listen. Their stories are moving and real. It’s difficult not to join them in support of veterans. Would they be as successful in the charity campaigns if they didn’t tell their stories? Probably not as much.

If you have a story behind the not-for-profit you support, whether it’s a time when you volunteered and how it impacted you, or a personal experience – share it.

But don’t stop there, as long as the donation drive continues, keep it updated. Share more stories and talk about what the charity can accomplish with the funds.

Donating Your Birthday

So, how many presents, cakes, and cards do you need? If you’ve had enough, it might be time to consider donating your birthday. To do so find a cause you believe in, vet the charity, share your campaign with followers, track its progress, and share your story. Like I said earlier if we all followed Kyle’s lead how much could we accomplish?

Photo by Christopher Martyn on Unsplash